SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 14, April 9, 2009

New SEMA Training Course Focuses on New Retail Employees, Immediate Tools

The SEMA Education Institute's (SEI) newly released sales training course, "Focus on the Customer: Introduction to Selling," is proving to be an effective tool for increasing sales skills for both new and veteran retailers alike.

"One of our goals is to become a training partner with our SEMA members" stated Bob Price, SEI's Executive Director. "This course focuses on the needs of new retail employees and teaches practical selling tools that can be applied on the job immediately."

"Basic retail sales training continues to be a critical issue for both our manufacturing and retailing members," said Price. "With the help of sales experts and adult educators, we've designed this course to emphasize the importance of good selling and customer service skills."

The "Introduction to Selling Course" is the first in a series of selling and marketing training courses being developed by SEI. The series will utilize scenario-based learning techniques, engaging video and audio examples, interactive quizzes and skill reviews.

The heart of the program is a five-stage sales process that uses the acronym G.E.A.R.S. to describe how to lead the customer through the following sales steps: Greet; Explore; Assist; Recommend; and Sell.

"Following a proven retail selling process will help close more sales and even assist with add-on product selling," said Price. He suggests that SEMA members use the "Introduction to Selling" course as an addition to their own in-house sales training and as a fun tool to encourage employees to work together to improve their selling skills.

"Selling is a process that anyone can learn to master. All it takes is dedication and desire—and a reliable training system," Price stated. The testing function of the course provides management with an online tool to gauge and measure sales-skills improvement and performance. In addition, the course includes video role-playing examples that demonstrate helpful techniques to handle customer objections.

The "Introduction to Selling" course was designed to help learners understand the key concepts and dynamics in the sales process; discover how good customer service techniques can increase sales; and improve individual selling skills and performance through guided practice.

"Our member surveys clearly indicate the critical importance of improving basic retail sales skills," Price said. "Retailers needing a jump-start with their training programs will find an excellent resource at the SEMA Education Institute."

For more information, visit the SEMA Education Institute at www.sema.org/sei.